Code Pink Journals CodePINK Journals

Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! I am on my mobile version of the door-to-door, going town-to-town holding readings/gatherings/discussions of my book "But What Can I Do?" This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels since 9/11 as I engage in dialogue and actions. It is steaming with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society we want ALL to thrive in

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

our first action - hallibacon inaugural ball

there are over 9 inaugural balls planned for tonite & tomorrow. we decide to crash the black tie and boots ball with our own "black gold & boots" ball - it is the one for the old time bush supporters, the have mores that have been his base since he was governor, let alone prez - the profiteers that plan to make another killing during this 2nd bush term. we gather in the freezing cold, dark & wet nite, holding our banners, boasting pig noses & pink regalia - we join billionares for bush, ronald reagan home for the criminally insane, & others as well. we chant things like "stop the celebration, end the occupation" and "shame" at the limos and taxis bringing in the special, beautiful, rich, white people that deserve so very much more than the rest of us!
we are lined up and down the sidewalk to the entrance of the hotel - most of the attendees look shocked to see us; few respond w/fuck you's, get a life, and communists! the latter always tickles me, especially because we are cp, codepink! the women in pink gowns look embaraased when we single them out as codepink women for peace folks! the wealth that oozes out of these people is nausiating - one of their gowns could probably feed our country's poor for weeks. lots of reporters are also on the scene and few police for at least 30 minutes. then the police decend upon us, telling us we are on private property. we figure out where the public sidewalk begins 10 feet away, still at the entrance, and head for it -= no one wants to be arrested tonite before the big action tomorrow. everyone has to pass thru our lines - we try to engage them at the very least.
we end the protest with a great pig squealing!!! then rush home to finish making banners, etc. for tomorrow. some wimmin will be up all nite, especially the ones working on the huge banner drop sign that says "champagne is flying, people are dying".
and all this is done in several inches of new snow & slush, and about 10 degree weather - brrrrr & grrrrrr!!!

gearing up

it is frigid again, this a.m. - snowing on top of slush & snow already on the ground. rae & i head to scope out banner drop locations after we drop a couple of codepinkers off at metro to flyer for tonite's action and tomorrow's funeral procession & rally. it is too cold to flyer on the streets so we are going to be inside the train stations!
rae & i find a place to park several blocks from pennsylvania ave -= most of the street parking is prohibited in preparation for tomorrow's shin-dig. everywhere we go in d.c., folks welcome us heartily. we park, feed the meter, and head toward the parade route, handing out flyers as we go & talking up the action tomorrow. everyone we meet, takes the flyers; some even agree to come.
it is difficult scoping out buildings on pennsylvania avenue -= first of all, it is snowing so it's hard to look up, especially indiscretely, and see anything! we do spot roof=tops and buildings that could work but we are not successful in attaining access to the roofs, or even into the buildings most of the time. we keep running into groups of suited males & femails, mostly white, brandishing red, white, & blue folders and looking official. i think they're feebee's in training. rae asks one of them what is in that folder. he is startled, smiles condescendingly & asks why she wants to know? she tells him how pretty they look & he says they're just folders.... so much for that!
there are police all around, lots of plainclothed cops as well as uniformed. i'm sure we're being watched. we consider a crane that is hoovering at least 50 feet in the air over a construction site a block from the inaugural route. rae is up for climbing it early in the a.m. if we can figure out how to keep the banner there until the parade. or if we can figure out how to make it unfurl at the right moment, providing no one spots it prior. we hear from another codepinker we have a location secured at the end of the parade so we note the buildings here that we think might work & head back to the truck - time to meet the other codepinkers in d.c.
we're having our large organizing meeting at cafe luna - a community space for progressives to meet and greet & plan. about 40-50 or so codepink wimmin showed up, hailing from all over the country from hawaii to maine! it's awesome! i hear around 400 wimmin have signed up on the site as well. we get an action sheet for the next two days and the weekend progressive democrats summit as well. we sign up for various tasks and head out to prepare for tonite's action.
as i'm standing at the back of the truck parked in front of cafe luna holding my banner trying to figure out how to attach it to the back of my truck in zero degree weather w/snow falling, a police car stops & the officer hails me. the friendly white male officer asks me if that was my truck - he says he saw it earlier & wondered whose it was. he introduces himself as the gay/lesbian laison to the washington police department, hands me his card, and tells me if there is ANYTHING i need or any of the codepink wimmin need, to call this number & he'll take care of us, no matter what! he continues to admire my truck, inform me that washington d.c. voter over 97% for kerry, & asks if there's anything we need - several other wimmin have joined us by now.
i decide to ask him about d.c.'s arrest policies, as in do they intend to arrest demonstrators? he looks blank & i explain how in boston there was a no arrest policy at the convention, but in nyc it was just the opposite. he says he doubts if any arrests will be made - he says the washington d.c. police are the best in the nation, the most experienced in handling demonstrators/ions and unless there is violence or civil disobedience, no one should get arrested. he said he would give me a ticket tho if i didn't feed the meter. okay.
he parks behind the truck & goes into the cafe after handing out several more cards to the rest of us. when he returns, i ask him if he'd mind pulling his car up to my bumper so rae can climb up and hang the banner. 'sure' he agrees - he pulls his car up to kiss the back bumper, rae climbs up onto the hood, and holds the banner up high as we hand her masking tape - it works, despite the cold, the snow, the salt & dirt covering the back - the banner sticks! now we can drive around d.c. announcing the funeral procession & rally tomorrow!